Monday Morning Brief – Jan. 25. 2010

What I Enjoyed This Week

1. We took Dylan to church for the first time. Like the old guy in 8th row, he slept most of the service ;-)
2. My adorable niece, Lina rolled over for the first time!
3. We had a great seminary class on Tuesday as we discussed racism and the multi-cultural hope for our church. I think I speak for most in our cohort that it was one of the best classes we’ve had.
4. Followed by spending some long overdue time with the illustrious Todd Hiestand and the brilliant Evan Curry.  Todd is currently tied for third as my all time favorite bi-vocational pastor.
5. Saturday night’s Second Mile Service went well. So much to say about it really, but this may not be the space. That said, I really believe in the potential of this community.

Those wonderful things are not to be taken for granted but I carried a heavy heart this week.
Sunday was “Sanctity of LIfe” Sunday and while we can discuss the number of aspects connected to this enormous debate, between 40-50 million children have been aborted. It’s just profoundly unacceptable.
Further, the situation in Haiti is so tragic. While I am moved by the number of stories of people being found in the rubble, I am disheartened by the evil people who kidnapped children out of the triage tents and have likely trafficked them. Anger swells up inside of me when I think about that.  I do not question God’s divine presence at work among all the suffering and I understand that we are in an evil, tragedy-stricken, fallen world.  But these days I ache for the day of ultimate redemption for all creation.  Thus, it’s in these days, that Christianity makes the most sense and not the least.
Speaking of human trafficking, it is estimated that there are 27 million people in our world being trafficked. I’ve shared other statistics with our Senor High students and at the Second Mile service and as a community, we are looking to get involved.
In the words of Dr. King, “Our lives end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

What I’ve Been Reading
Divided by Faith – Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith. I feel like I’ve been reading some incredible books lately. Though the font is extremely small and the publisher got their money’s worth by stretching out the margins (yeah I learned all that in undergrad too Oxford Press ;-), the content of the book is brilliant.
I’ve been sharing this repeatedly but I am still not over how the white American church refused to preach the gospel to their African slaves because believing they were “sub-human”, they did not have souls. Then when they decided to proselytize, it was out of fear of rebellion and revolt so the clergy taught the slaves to be obedient to their masters.

The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch (love this guy) and Not For Sale – The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can Fight It by David Batstone.

More to say on those books but will have to wait for another time.

What made me laugh this week:

There we were talking about Lost at our local diner when a few friends said they didn’t watch Lost. What? You love Jesus but don’t watch LOST?
That’s ok. Just like 5 point Calvinists, God will still love you too and I don’t judge you. But then I got this email from a dear friend.

Final Season Of ‘Lost’ Promises To Make Fans More Annoying Than Ever

Well, whatever, I can’t wait til February 2. I have school that night but I’m thinking about calling in sick/tired/unrepentant/whatever/;-)


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